7. Parry, William Edward, Sir (1790-1855)   

Journal of a Second Voyage for the Discovery of a North-west Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Performed in the Years 1821-23 in H.M. Ships the Fury and Hecla. London: John Murray, 1824.


Inuit braced to haul in a harpooned walrus, from William Edward Parry, Second Voyage, 1824.


Inuit man and woman waiting for seals at breathing holes, from William Edward Parry, Second Voyage, 1824.


A wild ride on a dogsled, from William Edward Parry, Second Voyage, 1824.

After the success of his first voyage, Parry was immediately selected to try another approach to a Northwest Passage, this time through Foxe Channel and Frozen Strait, north of Hudson Bay. 

In terms of its mission, this expedition was not so successful, since the ships, Fury and Helca were frozen in for two years and never discovered a way west (although they did discover a new strait, the Fury and Hecla Strait, which cut across the Melville Peninsula to Prince Regent Inlet; however, it did not turn out to be navigable). 

By another measure, however, the voyage was a great success, for the two frozen winters brought British sailors for the first time into prolonged acquaintance with the native Inuit people, or “Esquimaux,” as the British called them. 

Parry’s account of the voyage shows the natives harpooning walrus, stalking seals, building igloos, taking joyrides on dogsleds, dancing, playing, and paddling kayaks. 

George Lyon, the commander of the Hecla, was particularly taken by the Inuit, and not only did he do the drawings for all the plates in this book, he would also write his own narrative (see item 8), which focused almost entirely on the lifestyle of the native peoples.











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